Think Tank Reveals ‘Serious Issues’ With Maasai ‘Relocation’ From Ngorongoro
Dar es Salaam. A U.S.-based environmental think tank has revealed a number of issues with the ongoing government’s plan to ‘relocate’ indigenous people from Ngorongoro to designated areas in Tanga and Manyara regions.
Tanzania has designated Msomera village in the Handeni district of Tanga region and Kitwali A & B villages in the Simanjiro district of Manyara for people who will offer to voluntarily relocate from Ngorongoro. The government says volunteers will be provided with houses as well as land for grazing.
However, a fact-finding mission conducted in March and April 2022 by the Oakland Institute has revealed discrepancies between government promises and the situation on the ground.
The Oakland Institute says in its latest brief that resettlement plans face several serious issues, many concerning the resettlement process and feasibility of the selected sites.
These issues include failure to consult communities in Msomera and Kitwai; lack of adequate water and grazing land in selected sites; concerns over promised social services; risk of conflict; and incomplete resettlement plans.
“Only after construction had already commenced, the government allegedly informed the Handeni District Council the houses being constructed would be for [Ngorongoro] residents who have ‘volunteered’ for resettlement,” the brief states.
Similarly, in Kitwai B, the village ward and district councillors had no knowledge that their village had been chosen as a resettlement site, the brief explains, adding: “Crucially, no social or environmental impact assessments appear to have been conducted prior to choosing the relocation areas.”